Germany Claps Back at Musk's Migrant Intervention

By Lily Hackett September 30, 2023

Germany strikes back at business tycoon, Elon Musk's intervention into its migration issue. Musk, via the international social platform X, criticized Germany's migration policy.

In a surprising recent turn of events, Germany responded sharply to tech giant Elon Musk's foray into its migration affairs. Musk took to the global social platform, previously known as Twitter, to express his views on the operations of German NGOs in the Mediterranean, accusing them of moving undocumented immigrants to Italy. Echoing an opinion post by a user named “Radio Genoa”, Musk gave the issue a wider audience by sharing it with his 158 million followers.

"Presently, 8 German NGO ships collect unauthorized immigrants from the Mediterranean for depositing in Italy. These NGOs obtain financial support from the German government. Hopefully, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right group, will emerge victorious in the future elections to put an end to this European suicide,” the message read.

Additionally, Musk questioned, “Is the German public aware of this?” This led to a prompt rebuttal from the German Foreign Office on the same platform, “Yes. And it’s called saving lives.”

Unfazed by the response, Musk, who also owns the platform, expressed his skepticism on Saturday. “Frankly, I doubt that a majority of the German public supports this,” he declared.

Musk's commentary arrives amidst an ongoing confrontation between Berlin and Italy regarding NGO activities at sea. Recently, the German Interior Ministry announced the indefinite suspension of its migrant reception scheme, which follows a European voluntary solidarity plan, from Italy.

The backdrop to Musk's intervention was the 10th summit for MED9 countries, where leaders underscored the need for immediate actions in response to “the recent challenge of increasing arrivals through Mediterranean routes.” They called on the European Union (EU) to mitigate primary migrations and departures, improve the success rate of returns for unsuccessful asylum applicants, and tackle the root causes of unwarranted migration.

Annually, in search of safer and economically brighter futures, tens of thousands of individuals risk treacherous Mediterranean routes, fleeing from war, persecution, and poverty. Complications often arise as the need to rescue overcrowded and unsuitably equipped vessels carries migrants, leading to heated disputes over responsibility for their acceptance.